Tips and tricks on developing web sites

Virtual Machine Software (VM)

If you want to test out a new piece of software or Operating System, try using a Virtual Machine (VM). If you don’t like the result, just delete it and no harm is done to your computer. If you mess it up, replace the VM with a backup file and you are back in business. The only area where VMs don’t do well is for testing out games that require a lot of 3D video power. Another neat thing you can do with VM’s is set up an isolated network between them. If you want to learn about Ethical hacking, VM’s are a great way to do it. There are quite a few programs out there that can host a virtual machine such as VirtualBox, VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. I like VirtualBox because it completely free, reliable and is frequently updated. You can download VirtualBox and the VirtualBox extensions at https://www.virtualbox.org/. You need both downloads.

What do you need for a system to host a Virtual Machine? I’d suggest at least a dual-core processor and 4GB RAM. Obviously, the more powerful the computer you have the better. If you run the VM on an SSD or NVMe drive you will notice a huge performance boost. Dual monitors are also a good idea. I use my left monitor to check my Emails, do Google searches, and process graphics and the right monitor hosts the VM. Hopefully, your VM system allows you to use a bi-directional clipboard between the two screens which is quite handy.

Most packages will bury your virtual machines somewhere in your user account. I like to make backups of my VM’s all the time, so I prefer to store them in C:\VM. To change that setting in VirtualBox, select Preferences and change the Default Machine Folder to C:\VM. Next, install the Guest Additions file you downloaded by double-clicking on it. That’s about it for getting VirtualBox going.